Estimated Exchange QHPs as of 7/14/14: 7.8M PAID (8.8M Total)

Estimated Total, all sources: (24 Million - 29 Million)

Exchange + Off-Exchange QHPs: 15.7M  •  Medicaid/CHIP (7.1M - 9.9M)

ESIs (156K confirmed; up to 8M more possible)  •  Sub26ers (1.6M - 3.1M)

Note: Anyone who donates $20 or more will receive an account to remove the ads thru 2/15/15.
(the ads generate a small amount relative to the work involved; donations are still appreciated)

OK, now that I've showered, dressed and eaten lunch, let's see what the latest Halbig developments are (I'll explain below just why I didn't pounce all over the story this morning):

First, the ruling itself, courtesy of the L.A. Times:

President Obama’s healthcare law was dealt a new blow Tuesday as a federal appeals court ruled that due to a wording glitch in the Affordable Care Act, some low- and middle-income residents are not entitled to receive government assistance to subsidize their insurance.

In a 2-1 vote, a panel of judges on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia rejected the Obama administration’s argument that the problem was triggered by imprecise language in the complex law and that Congress had always intended to offer the subsidies nationwide to low- and middle-income people who bought insurance through one of the state or federal health exchanges created under the law.

OK, that may seem like an awkward way of shoehorning the Halbig decision into what's otherwise a simple state-level enrollment update entry, but the two are joined at the hip, since the state in question (Arkansas) happens to be one of those being run through Healthcare.gov:

A total of 185,000 persons have enrolled in expanded Medicaid and another 40,000 have bought insurance in the Obamacare exchange—together nearly half of all the previously uninsured citizens in Arkansas. When the new governor takes office, some 215,000 will be enrolled in expanded Medicaid alone. Will Hutchinson and, indeed, most Republican legislators want to end medical coverage for so many of their neighbors and constituents?

OK, I'll have much more to say about today's Halbig decision this afternoon, but for the moment, let me just repost a press release, verbatim, from the campaign of Mark Totten, presumptive* Democratic nominee for Attorney General here in Michigan:

(*ok, technically he's not the nominee until after the MDP convention next month, but I'm pretty sure he's uncontested).

Schuette Forces Massive Tax Hike on Working Michigan Families

July 22, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Mark Totten for Michigan Attorney General
July 22, 2014

Contact: info@marktotten.com / (269) 203-3520

Schuette Forces Massive Tax Hike On Working Michigan Families

Federal court backs Schuette’s crusade to raise taxes by nearly $5,000 on a half-million
Michigan families, while shipping Michigan tax dollars to California and New York

...however, I just finished mowing the lawn and am grungy as hell at the moment. I'll read up on the decision and write something more substantive later on today.

In the meantime, here's the three posts I've written about it so far...

Speaking of which, my potential dumb-simple solution to the problem has been lent support by none other than Larry Levitt of the Kaiser Family Foundation:

If Halbig stands, the administration could try to make it easy for states to set up state exchanges with a http://t.co/GH5hnakhxX back-end.

With all my stories about the requested premium increases in various states not living up to the "sky is falling" hype, several people have called attention to the fact that in New York State, it's not looking good:

ALBANY—New York insurance companies are looking to raise health insurance premiums by an average of 13 percent, according to proposed rates released by the state's Department of Financial Services on Wednesday.

The requests come from the 41 insurance companies operating in New York's insurance market. Last year, 16 insurers offered plans on the state's health exchange, which was created by the Affordable Care Act.

The six most popular plans on the state’s exchange requested double-digit increases in their premium rates for next year, with an average request of a 14.6 percent rate hike.

A couple of weeks ago there was much ado about a new Commonwealth Fund survey which found that nationally, the uninsured rate had been cut by 25% (from 20% down to 15%). Well, buried in that study was this bit about California specifically:

The percentage of uninsured Californians has been cut in half since the federal health law began expanding coverage nine months ago, according to a new national survey.

In September of 2013, 22 percent of California adults were uninsured. By last month, that number had fallen to just 11 percent, the biggest drop among the nation’s six largest states.

After yesterday's flood of updates, I'm taking a moment to give a shout-out to Chris Savage. He's currently running a fundraiser to help support Eclectablog, the Michigan-centric political site which deserves far more attention than this one. Eclectablog isn't primarily healthcare-related (although there are occasional pieces by contributor Amy Lynn Smith and other ACA-related pieces from time to time), but it would mean a lot to me if readers of this site would lend a hand to that one.

Full disclosure: Not only is Chris a friend and colleague, he also happens to be one of my hosting clients, so in that sense this may be a bit self-serving.

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